The Benefits of a Kitchari Cleanse

According to Ayurveda, a healthy digestive fire (Agni) is the key to our entire health and well-being. Ayurveda believes that the root cause of toxins and disease is improper digestion. Fall is a great time of year to do a cleanse as it marks an important transition in season and prepares us for the winter months to come. 

Most Common Improper Digestive Symptoms: 

Constipation

Gas, bloating, cramping, and/or gurgling

Diarrhea or chronic loose stools

Heaviness or sleepiness after food

Slow metabolism

Lack of appetit

Coating on the tongue

Bad breath

Teeth marks around the perimeter of the tongue or other symptoms of malabsorption

Acid reflux or heartburn

Inflammation in the GI tract (i.e. gastritis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, etc)

Hyper-metabolism, excessively hungry

General feelings of heaviness and lethargy

Dull, foggy mind

Aches and pains throughout the body

Poor circulation

Weakened immunity

Common Causes of Digestive Imbalance:

Emotional imbalances (anxiety, worry, fear, depression, anger, etc)

Stress

Improper food combining

Eating allergenic foods (dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, sugar, etc)

Eating too late at night

Constant grazing, excessive snacking

Poor dietary choices

Sleeping or lying down after food

Eating on the go

Gut flora imbalance 

Yeast infection or Candida

Parasitical Infection

Overeating

Improper lifestyle habits

Lack of sleep

The Ayurvedic Cleanse can be safely performed at home, even with a full schedule. This particular cleanse is suitable for all body types as it can be modified to fit everybody’s individual needs. This cleanse is typically done for 5-7 days, depending on your schedule and the amount of cleansing needed and includes pre-cleanse and post-cleanse meetings as well as daily support. The goal is an easy transition into and out of this cleanse.

Benefits of a Proper Kitchari Cleanse

Increases the digestive capacity

Removes toxins from the system

Removes heaviness and congestion from the body

Removes heaviness and congestion from the mind

Enhances the “Satvic” (balanced) state of an individual

Enhances energy and feelings of wellness (prior to the cleanse; during the cleanse one may experience lower energy due to the flushing of toxins and mild diet

Increases one’s confidence and motivation level


Protecting your skin in the summer/ How to reduce existing hyper pigmentation (sun spots), and finding your summer glow/ The Kumkumadi Facial!

From an Ayurvedic perspective, your skin is the reflection of how healthy you are. Hyper-pigmentation can be due to various skin disorders caused by the presence of toxins, or Ama, in the body.  Skin problems like hyper-pigmentation are most commonly caused due to an aggravated Pitta Dosha. A concerted diet, herbal healing treatments, and topical applications that address Pitta can work wonders for the skin.

Causes of hyperpigmentation are:

-Exposure to sun and heat,
-Hormonal imbalances,
-Irregular production of melanin in melanocyte cells in the epidermis (upper layer of the skin).-Impurities in the blood leading to skin disorders due to the presence of toxins and poor supply of blood to that area.

Here are 8 quick fixes to deal with skin pigmentation problems

1) Application of aloe vera

Start with applying the pulp of aloe vera on the affected area. Nothing comes close to the power of aloe vera in treating sun tan rapidly and effectively without leaving scars. Aloe vera acts as a great moisturizer. It is also well known that it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

2) Applying a paste made from a mix of water/milk/coconut milk with the crushed parts of these three magic herbs:

A) known as lodh or lodhra in many parts of the world, this herb is one of the oldest forms of natural healing and treatment for the skin. The basic properties of the herb are that it beautifies and helps maintain the shape and tone of the skin.

Some of its other benefits are:

-Improves collagen production and makes the skin look younger

-Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

-Works on blemishes

-Detoxifies the skin

B) Coriander, known as Dhanyaka in Ayurveda

Coriander is a storehouse of natural benefits for the skin. It is astringent with anti-bacterial and disinfectant properties.

-It is also a great detoxifier and anti-inflammatory herb.

-It is rich in antioxidants which destroy free radicals and keeps skin ever young.

-Has plenty of Vitamin C which is good for lightening skin tone.

-It cleanses the skin pores

C) Calamus or Vacha is also known as myrtle grass and is an excellent herb for improving blood circulation and increasing oxygen in the skin. It quickly heals inflammatory scars or blemishes on the skin.

3) Rakhtashodhini or blood purifying syrup

Generally available in popular Ayurvedic or herbal product outlets, blood purifying syrup or tablets help purify the blood by purging the toxins in it. When the blood is free from toxins, it reflects in the skin as the skin clears up and brightens up.

4) The herbal formulation that combines a dozen herbs: Kumkumadi

The Ayurvedic formula, Kumkumadi Lepam, made from over a dozen herbs like saffron, red sandalwood, licorice, turmeric, blue lotus, sour cherry, sesame oil or coconut oil, among others- is known as one of the best treatments for treating skin blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, dark circles, spots and wrinkles. The formulation has been touted in one of the most definitive texts on the Ayurvedic sciences- Ashtanga Hridayam.

5) Apply a mix of haritaki and yogurt

Indian hog plum, known as haritaki in Sanskrit, is called the King of Herbs and has immense antibacterial properties. Haritaki is rich in antioxidants like gallic acid, chebulic acid, ellagic acid, selenium and vitamin C. It is beneficial for treating skin allergies, acne, and blemishes. Indian hog plum has a hard skin and so you may need to really apply some pressure before making a paste from it, combined with yogurt.

6) A paste of mustard seeds and rose oil

Mustard seeds act as a natural scrub for the skin with cleansing and antibacterial properties. Mustard seeds when applied as a mix with aloe vera gel is used as a hydrating agent for the skin. The mix also has anti-aging properties.

7)  Possible herbal combinations that can be applied externally over affected areas

A) A paste of neem  and turmeric
The benefits of turmeric have been widely documented as an antibacterial wonder, rejuvenating agent, blood purifier, skin repairer, rich in antioxidants, and skin tone lightener. It adds a glow to your skin and can be easily made an inseparable part of your beauty regimen.

B) A mix of sulfur and myrtle grass with curd can be applied locally to affected areas.
C) For treating white patches, an equal amount of juice made from holy basil leaves and lemon juice may be applied to these areas.

You can also cut a small onion into two pieces and rub it over these spots.

Through June and July, I am offering the Summer Glow Facal with all of the benefits of the Enhanced Facial using the Kansa Wand Facial Massage with the amazing Kumkamandi serum.

 

 

 

 

Clearing our spaces for new energy in spring.

A few thoughts before the cleanse...

In preparation for the Spring Cleanse,  a great place to begin is by clearing your kitchen cupboards and closets. Clean out unnecessary utensils, stale packaged foods, and electric appliances you are no longer using.. Vigorously clean the kitchen walls, shelves, countertops, sinks and floor; scrub pots, pans and ladles. Allow this act of cleaning the space that nourishes you within your home, to be one of sankalpa- blessing - affirming your sacred intention to open your internal pathways for cleansing and nourishment during the fast. As you engage in your space clearing activities, you will find a surge of energy in your body, and your mind will begin to feel light, joyful and eager to partake in the spirit of the fast!

The cleanse is an ideal way of following a seasonal practice that removes disharmonious conditions form our lives by diminishing hurtful actions and challenging karmas . This is an ideal time to focus on a specific problem you wish to resolve in your life and see if you find resolution after the cleanse.

 

Skincare in Winter: Let it Glow!

Healthy, glowing skin during autumn and winter can really feel like sailing against the wind—cold and dry air makes our skin feel tight, and look dull and lifeless. A good skincare regimen that includes certain key active ingredients with a good moisturizer or face oil—can make a huge difference and are well worth the effort.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Change it up! Most likely, your summer skin care routine will not be enough in winter. Your skin will probably need more moisture more often.

  2. Choose your cleanser carefully: Cleansers can strip your skin of natural oils and dry it out. Over time this leads to more visible lines and wrinkles.

  3. Exfoliate: Exfoliating brings back that youthful glow that is so often lost during the winter months and is also a great tool to improve the texture of your skin all year long. Choose face masks that contain fruit enzymes which are an effective, but gentler, alternative to AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids). These tend to irritate delicate skin, and become slightly less effective over time. Fruit enzymes help dissolve dead skin cells, and are decongesting and brightening.  Look for papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, or kiwi, all great sources of enzymes, improve texture and prevent breakouts. Unlike clay-based masks, look for masks that  do not dry on the skin, have humectant and emollient ingredients (honey or jojoba for example).

  4. VITAMIN A: Vitamin A is well known for its skin benefits. It stimulates collagen synthesis and repairs UV damage. However, stay away from Retina A, or Retinoic Acid (the synthetic version of Vitamin A that can cause severe reactions and toxicity—already banned in Europe but still prescribed in North America). Some plant seeds provide natural retinoids, which are significantly more gentle to the skin and do not cause toxicity, while still being beneficial.

  5. Rosehip Oil: One of the plant oils that provides the highest levels of Vitamin A. It is emollient, but non-greasy, has regenerating and antioxidant properties, and contains essential fatty acids as well, look for one that is extracted from both the seed and fruit of the plant, delivering an even higher level of caretonoids than other rosehip oils. Additional plant oils that also have great benefits for the skin are Tamanu, Jojoba and Buriti. Ayurvedic formulations also include plant extracts that are soothing and anti-inflammatory, like Calendula and Turmeric. This product is free of essential oils, which makes it a great option for people who have more delicate or “sensitive” skin.

  6. VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is a bit like the genie of skincare—it makes your skin wishes come true. Dull skin? It makes your skin glow. Dark spots? It may brighten them. Scars? It can fade them. Dehydrated skin? It helps in hydration. It’s best found in serums that you can layer under your moisturizer. One of my favorite ways to take advantage of Vitamin C’s antioxidants benefits is to use it in the morning underneath your sunscreen. It helps to boost the sun-protective properties of the sunscreen, preventing photo-damage caused by UV rays more effectively. However, since the stability of Vitamin C in skincare products is a concern (light, air, and heat tend to cause oxidation) it is super important to choose the right product. Topical application of Vitamin C works better when it is combined with Vitamin E, which protects the skin from collagen damage. So products that contain both vitamins are a better choice. To apply, evenly press a few drops of serum onto moist skin starting from cheeks, cheekbones, and around your mouth, moving to the outwards areas of my face. 

  7. Lip Care: Suffering from persistent lip dryness during fall and winter is a common complaint. Cracked lips can be extremely uncomfortable! The reason is that our lips do not produce oil (sebum) like the rest of our face, so when the weather is harsh (cold, dry, windy) we need to protect them.Try a sugar scrub on your lips by simply mixing some regular sugar with some jojoba, coconut, or safflower oil, and rub this gently on the lips once a day. Add a little honey for healing properties. Follow up with a nourishing lip balm.

  8. Protect: Winter weather appears to be less sunny, but remember those harmful UV rays are still out there. Always protect your skin with a safe sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, and wear protective hats and clothing.

  9. Shorter Showers: Hot water feels great in the winter, but it saps skin of its natural oils. Try to limit your long, hot showers and baths to once or twice a week, and choose lukewarm the other times. Always apply moisturizer immediately after patting skin dry.

  10. Right diet. Simple sugars and carbohydrates stimulate reactions in skin that can lead to more acne breakouts.

  11. Wear gloves. Our hands suffer the most during the winter. Take moisturizer with you and moisturize your hands before bed!

  12. Use a humidifier. As winter comes, the air dries out. The dryer the air, the more it steals moisture from your skin. If you live in a dry climate, use a humidifier, particularly in your bedroom at night.

  13. Rejuvenation: In the winter months, rejuvenation is a key strategy to keep your skin balanced and glowing all year long. This time of year is a great time to provide your skin with a special hydra facial which delivers more nutrients so that it can better withstand winter stress.

Brighten and let your skin glow this season with a hydra facial holiday special.

What to expect from your Winter Hydra Facial:

Cleanse and Peel:

Uncover a new layer of skin with gentle exfoliation and relaxing resurfacing.   

Extract and Hydrate:

Remove debris from pores with painless suction, nourish with intense moisturizers that quench the skin.

Fuse and Protect :

Saturate the skin’s surface with antioxidants and natural peptides to maximize your glow.

Summer into Fall: Ayurvedic Wellness

September brings cooler temperatures and shorter days. This change of season is known in Ayurveda as Vata season which is governed by the elements of air and ether. Ayurveda believes that keeping this energy in balance through this season will reduce the risk of colds and flus in the months to come. At this time of year, Ayurveda recommends a light Kitchari cleanse, as well as choosing warm, cooked and seasonal foods, to combat internal dryness. Massaging warm oils into the skin is especially beneficial at this time. Routines help balance the body, so consider incorporating meditation and yoga into your daily practice to transition peacefully through both daily and seasonal changes.

When vata dosha predominates, there is an increase in the dry, rough and cool qualities of our external and internal environments. In excess, dryness can begin to disturb various tissues and organs. Most noticeably, dry skin and lips are examples of excess vata. Internally you may notice dryer stools as vata accumulates in the colon. Though we all notice the seasonal effects of autumn, people whose constitutions are vata-predominant and the elderly, are most susceptible to this change.

Symptoms of vata-aggravation are:

  • Dry skin and lips

  • Constipation

  • Gas

  • Bloating

  • Little or low appetite

  • Hiccups

  • Anxiety

  • Fear

  • Scattered mind

Diet

Foods that are in season such as root vegetables and winter squash help nourish and balance the body. Try carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and Winter squash. These have the qualities of sweet, heavy, smooth, dense and moist which are most balancing for vata. In general, at this time of year, favor sweet, sour,  and salty tastes in your diet, while limiting bitter and astringent tastes.

Some sweet grains to include this season are basmati rice, wheat berries, brown rice. Also, whole wheat pasta and or buckwheat udon noodles can be especially grounding for vata. Include ghee and other healthful oils such as almond, sesame or sunflower for internal oleation, kindling digestion and increasing absorption.

When preparing food, use warming spices such as black pepper,  ginger and cinnamon to help to stoke the digestive fire. Casseroles, soups and stews are easily digested and can be very nourishing and warming.

Other important dietary guidelines for balancing the body:

  • Eat at routine times each day, having lunch be the largest meal.

  • Take time to lovingly prepare and enjoy nutritious meals.

  • Avoid ice cold drinks, particularly taken with meals or immediately after.

  • Limit raw, cold foods such as salads and raw vegetables.

  • Minimize caffeinated beverages and other stimulants. These increase vata, aggravating the nervous system.

  • Include warm milk spiced with a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. This is a nutritious way to soothe the nerves and, when taken before bed, will promote sound sleep.

Lifestyle

Our daily activities have a profound effect on our health. A routine, practiced daily, is stronger medicine than an occasional remedy. Consistency is of particular importance as we enter into vata season. When the cool, fall weather arrives and the holiday season is upon us, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a peaceful, grounded state of being. Having a routine to follow restores balance throughout the day, everyday, safeguarding against the anxiety and stress associated with increased vata.

According to Ayurveda, abhyanga, or oil massage is an essential component to a daily routine. This practice nourishes and strengthens the body, encourages regular sleep patterns, stimulates internal organs, enhances blood circulation and can significantly reduce vata.

Additional lifestyle tips for balancing vata:

  • Stay warm and avoid drafts.

  • Avoid excessive exercise or physical movement.

  • Eliminate sources of emotional stress.

  • Get enough restful sleep each night. Most people require 6-8 hours.

Meditation

An imbalance of vata can manifest as a mind full of fear and anxiety. Creating a spiritual practice using meditation and pranayama can help to calm these emotions and create a sense of peace and well-being. Invite calm and relaxation into the body for a few minutes each day. Be still. Direct your attention inward. Notice your breath. Allow this practice to act as a protective shield to the destabilizing influences of the external environment.

Pranayama

When we are feeling swept up in the fast pace of life, slowing down and taking a few deep belly breaths will do wonders to help relax the nervous system, calm vata dosha, and balance prana in the body. Allow the belly to fill like a balloon upon inhalation and then allow the belly to naturally sink in towards the spine with the exhalation.

Caring for yourself during the autumn will help your body’s ability to maintain health through the winter. Now is time to keep warm, nourish yourself and protect your vitality in preparation for the months ahead.

This is also a great time to prepare the body for winter by observing a Fall Cleanse. This will be offered the first week  November with details to come.

Understanding Eczema & Atopic Dermatitis

Understanding What's Underneath

Eczema that occurs chronically may be more than just a skin condition. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a chronic disease. If you struggle with frequent flare-ups that just keep coming back, there may be a bigger story happening inside your body.

With atopic dermatitis, even when your skin looks clear, the inflammation may still be active under the surface, and your next flare-up may just be waiting to return. Some people always show signs of the disease.

The most obvious sign of atopic dermatitis is dry, itchy skin. Flare-ups are different for every person and can appear all over the body.

Some other common external symptoms include:

• Redness

• Oozing

• Swelling

• Scaly areas

• Crusting

• Thick skin

The rashes on the surface are only part of the story. The impact can go deeper than the skin, in fact the majority of people with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis report that the itch can delay falling asleep and occasionally or frequently wake them up at night. To really understand atopic dermatitis, you have to look at the deeper cause within your body.

Scratching the Surface

Atopic dermatitis is an immunological disease, which means it involves the immune system. With atopic dermatitis, your immune system is highly sensitive and can react to even the smallest allergens or irritants. This reaction can cause excess inflammation underneath your skin, which may lead to your frequent flare-ups. So those rashes you see on the surface are just the visible signs of a deeper inflammatory disease.

1. ITCH

In people with atopic dermatitis, immune cells in the deeper layers of your skin send inflammatory signals to the surface, causing the itchy rash you’re all too familiar with.  

2. SCRATCH

When you scratch, you can break down the outer layer of skin which allows germs, viruses and allergens to get in.

3. DAMAGED SKIN

In response to these invaders, your immune system continues to send signals to the surface, causing even more redness and itching.

4. RELEASE OF INFLAMMATORY SIGNALS

The more you scratch, the more your skin barrier breaks down, and the itch-scratch cycle continues.

Natural Remedies for Eczema:

Epsom salt is composed of magnesium sulfate, which is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Using these salts in a nice relaxing bath will ease the pain and itch, and will also give you a good night sleep!

Tumeric is very helpful in treating skin disorders because it is filled with antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory. You can take it in capsule form or by making a paste with coconut oil, and apply it directly to the skin.

Oatmeal is a wonderful anti-itch and soothing remedy for your inflamed skin. You can take an oatmeal bath, which will also soften your skin making it feel silky and smooth!

Apple cider vinegar can also be applied directly to the affected areas and does wonders in clearing up skin outbreaks and balancing your skin. 

Other remedies include tea tree oil, neem paste, and of course taking time to understand and address the underlying causes.

Ayurveda offers a gentle path of self-care, where you learn to balance your body and mind with daily practice and guidance. 

   

Thrive This Summer With These Ayurvedic Tips

Stay Cool to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer is dominated by the fire element, related to the Pitta dosha in Ayurveda. As one might expect, the body and mind have a tendency to get overheated during the summer months. This is a wonderful illustration of a key Ayurvedic principle, that “like increases like and opposites create balance.” Ayurveda provides us with simple and effective practices for keeping the fire stoked without letting it blaze out of control.

General guidelines for keeping cool & balancing Pitta this summer:

  • Prioritize foods that are cool and moist to balance the sharp, hot qualities of summer.

  • Eat cooling herbs & spices like fennel, mint, coriander, cilantro, turmeric, cumin, dill, parsley, chrysanthemum, peppermint, dandelion, burdock and aloe vera juice.

  • Avoid heating spices like cayenne, garlic, horseradish, chilies, basil, and pepper.

  • Emphasize sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.

  • Limit salty, spicy and sour foods.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar.

  • Use sweet, cooling and calming essential oils like jasmine, lotus, rose and lavender.

  • Spray the face with rose hydrosol.

  • Massage your body with coconut oil.

  • Spend time in cool peaceful environments by enjoy time in nature, taking moonlit walks or going for a swim.

Daily Routine

  • Give yourself a full body massage before a cool shower. Coconut oil is best.

  • Enjoy rose, sandalwood, jasmine or  lavender essential oils to relax the senses.

  • Wear light colored clothing, loose cotton, linen, and silk (ex. white, blue, green) so air can circulate between your clothes and your skin.

  • Complete any in-doors cooking early in the morning before it gets hot. 
  • Eat cooling, sweet, bitter and astringent foods such as coconut, cucumber, watermelon, seasonal fresh fruit, steamed greens, multicolored salads, watercress, endives, mung beans and basmati rice. Avoid spicy and fried foods.

  • Drink cumin, coriander, fennel and rose tea. Cilantro, cucumber, and mint are great additions to water for a refreshing beverage that will cool you down.

  • Eat few dairy products and meats, unless you are doing an intense physical activity, as these foods can be too heavy to digest in hot weather.

  • A way to stay cool and balanced this summer is to sign up for the Summer Cleanse, July 29 - August 5, and contact me for therapeutic, refreshing body and massage oils.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. Happy Summer!

Fanny Clavier
Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist

www.fannyayurveda.com

fanny@fannyayurveda.com

(510) 501-9784 

Use Ayurveda's Beauty Secrets Instead of Botox!

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects us from external factors and also absorbs and eliminates toxins from our systems. This is why the skin is an important ally in understanding our bodies: we can actually see this organ, and receive clear messages from it, visually. Toxins will be visible on the skin’s surface. In fact, any internal imbalance can be seen if you look carefully. Excess hormones can result in acne, blemishes, overproduction of oils, and dryness, causing wrinkles, thinning skin and sensitivities.

The Kansa wand is a healing metal used in traditional Ayurvedic and Eastern practices. It has amazing beauty enhancing as well as soothing properties. The combination of copper, tin and zinc has a powerful effect on the body's subtle energies, that is even more effective than gold and silver.

In my Ayurvedic facials, I use the Kansa wand to massage and lift patients’ skin. The energy of this vibrational metal truly relieves the appearance of tired, sagging skin by bringing a natural lift and light to the face, as well as soothing any redness or inflammation. It is also wonderfully relaxing and feels like a warm hand massaging your skin. You actually see the impurities turn the facial oil a slight greyish tone that is then washed away, leaving noticeably radiant and tightened skin.

Tailoring your facial to your specific needs is crucial in revealing beautiful, healthy skin. The use of the Kansa Wand is an effective, natural way to achieve glowing results.

Please note that this month of June, facials are 15% to prepare for a natural, protected look as you enjoy the warmer months ahead.

How to Stay Balanced this Spring

Helpful hints for finding balance during the spring season:

 

This may seem like a lot of time to spend in the morning, but choose one or two suggestions that you can commit to and gradually add the others to your morning routine. Another way is to choose the weekend to really treat yourself to your own spa day. Allowing this time for yourself will actually increase your energy and help you ease into your day.

1) Wake early, 5-7 am and utilize this time to connect with spring's seasonal vitality. As kapha is especially aggravated by sleeping in beyond 7am, rising early is a useful way to reduce kapha aggravations of fatigue, lethargy, mucus and headaches.

2) After completing your morning cleansing routines, practice skin brushing. This can be very valuable at this time of year for stimulating lymphatic circulation. Tradition suggests starting brushing at the feet and legs, then progressing to the arms and back and then to the chest and abdomen. This brings lymphatic fluid back to the heart for elimination via the blood where toxins and wastes are cleared by the liver and kidneys.

3) Follow with an oil massage (abhyanga) using warmed organic sesame or sunflower oil to reduce kapha from the skin.

4) Have a hot shower to refresh the body.

5) If you can have a sauna during the early part of spring it will help to dry the excessive secretions that occur at this time of year.

6) Take a cup of hot ginger and lemon water to stimulate digestion and cut through any mucus that has accumulated overnight.

7) The spring diet should emphasize the bitter, pungent and astringent foods that help to clear mucus and excess moisture from the body. The bitter and pungent flavors also help to open the channels of elimination. Conversely, avoid the sweet, sour and salty flavors that are heavy and cause water stagnation in the body. Your meals should be warm, light and very easy to digest. While the nature of most foods is sweet it is important to add these other recommended flavors into your diet.

8) Increase light grains such as quinoa, barley, millet, corn. As beans are considered to be astringent they can be emphasized at this time of year, with red lentils, adzuki beans and chickpeas good for clearing kapha.

As always remember to breathe, enjoy yoga and spend time in nature !

Five Elements Spring Cleanse

I recently found this paragraph in my note book, I unfortunately have no other information on the author, but I wanted to share this with you, as it quite beautifully describes how our bodies mirror nature~

According to the principle of panchamahabhutas, each and every physical thing in the universe is composed of the same five elements of Ayurvedic theory - earth, water, fire, air, and space. We are formed from the same ingredients as a tree or a squirrel, a grain of sand or a drop of rain. The earth is our physical body and water is its fluid; fire is the acids and enzymes of the body; air is the prana and breath, and space is the vibration of all the vital systems together. The five elements in our foods nurture the five elements in our bodies and sustain proper functioning of our tissue memories. The smell of earth stirs fresh memory of scent; water brings forth our prodigious memory of taste; fire enables us to digest the uni- verse and to transform it into cosmic intelligence; air allows us to feel, touch, and perceive reality; and space gives us the vibratory power to intuit, and to know Truth. Put differently, the elements that nourish us are the same elements that are within us. When we recognize this integral connection, that we are sustained by the five elements of nature, we understand that each bite of food is a blessing from Mother Nature. This realization is the beginning of sadhana, the point from which we start to build the foundation for a healthful spiritual life.